Third Substitute H.B. 418
7 LONG TITLE
8 General Description:
9 This bill amends provisions concerning the visitation rights of a grandparent.
10 Highlighted Provisions:
11 This bill:
12 . amends definitions; and
13 . provides that a grandparent may petition for visitation after a parent's rights have
14 been terminated, unless the grandchild is adopted by a nonrelative.
15 Money Appropriated in this Bill:
17 Other Special Clauses:
19 Utah Code Sections Affected:
21 30-5-1 , as last amended by Laws of Utah 2002, Chapter 85
22 30-5-2 , as last amended by Laws of Utah 2005, Chapter 129
24 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
25 Section 1. Section 30-5-1 is amended to read:
26 30-5-1. Definitions.
27 As used in this act:
28 (1) "District court" means the district court with proper jurisdiction over the
30 (2) "Grandchild" means the child with respect to whom a grandparent is seeking
31 visitation rights under this chapter.
32 (3) "Grandparent" means [
33 marriage, or adoption, is the parent of the grandchild.
34 Section 2. Section 30-5-2 is amended to read:
35 30-5-2. Visitation rights of grandparents.
36 (1) (a) As used in this section,
37 (i) "Grandparent" is as defined in Section 30-5-1 , and includes a grandparent of a child:
38 (A) whose parent's rights are terminated under Title 78A, Chapter 6, Part 5,
39 Termination of Parental Rights Act: and
40 (B) who is adopted by a relative of the child at the time of adoption.
41 (ii) "Nonrelative" means individual who is not a relative of the grandchild at the time
42 of adoption.
43 (iii) "Relative" means an individual related to the grandchild by marriage or blood as:
44 (A) a sibling;
45 (B) an aunt;
46 (C) an uncle; or
47 (D) a grandparent.
49 requesting visitation in accordance with the provisions and requirements of this section.
50 Grandparents may also file a petition for visitation rights in a pending divorce proceeding or
51 other proceeding involving custody and visitation issues.
52 (2) There is a rebuttable presumption that a parent's decision with regard to
53 grandparent visitation is in the grandchild's best interests. However, the court may override the
54 parent's decision and grant the petitioner reasonable rights of visitation if the court finds that
55 the petitioner has rebutted the presumption based upon factors which the court considers to be
56 relevant, such as whether:
57 (a) the petitioner is a fit and proper person to have visitation with the grandchild;
58 (b) visitation with the grandchild has been denied or unreasonably limited;
59 (c) the parent is unfit or incompetent;
60 (d) the petitioner has acted as the grandchild's custodian or caregiver, or otherwise has
61 had a substantial relationship with the grandchild, and the loss or cessation of that relationship
62 is likely to cause harm to the grandchild;
63 (e) the petitioner's child, who is a parent of the grandchild, has died, or has become a
64 noncustodial parent through divorce or legal separation;
65 (f) the petitioner's child, who is a parent of the grandchild, has been missing for an
66 extended period of time; or
67 (g) visitation is in the best interest of the grandchild.
68 (3) The adoption of a grandchild by the grandchild's stepparent does not diminish or
69 alter visitation rights previously ordered under this section.
70 (4) Subject to the provisions of Subsections (2) and (3), the court may inquire of the
71 grandchild and take into account the grandchild's desires regarding visitation.
72 (5) On the petition of a grandparent or the legal custodian of a grandchild the court
73 may, after a hearing, modify an order regarding grandparent visitation if:
74 (a) the circumstances of the grandchild, the grandparent, or the custodian have
75 materially and substantially changed since the entry of the order to be modified, or the order
76 has become unworkable or inappropriate under existing circumstances; and
77 (b) the court determines that a modification is appropriate based upon the factors set
78 forth in Subsection (2).
79 (6) Grandparents may petition the court to remedy a parent's wrongful noncompliance
80 with a visitation order.
81 (7) Unless the child is adopted by a nonrelative, when a parent's rights are terminated
82 under Title 78A, Chapter 6, Part 5, Termination of Parental Rights Act:
83 (a) the rights of a grandparent of a child are not extinguished; and
84 (b) a grandparent of a child may:
85 (i) bring an action or file a petition for visitation rights as described in Subsection (1);
87 (ii) file a petition for visitation rights in a pending adoption matter in juvenile court or
88 district court.
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